After becoming stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire and no one to help me, I realized it was time to become more knowledgeable about my car! No, I’m not talking about becoming a mechanic. I’m just talking about things that every woman should know about just in case the worst is to happen. Here are my seven tips for emergency car situations!
DOWNLOAD YOUR CAR INSURANCE COMPANY’S APP
This has become my savior. I’ve gotten into an unfortunate amount of car incidents the past couple of years and not a single one was my fault! If you lock your key in your car or need someone to change a tire for you, all you have to do is click a few button’s in an app and wait for help to come! The bonus is that some care insurance companies have partnered with car services, just in case you are stranded and need to be picked up. It’s fantastic!
KEEP A MAP IN YOUR CAR
This is good for road trips especially. If you are traveling across broad state lines, you don’t know when you will be in service and when you won’t be. If you have a map, you’ll be able to guide yourself towards an area that gives you your service back! Or even better, gets you to your destination. While technology is great, it can’t be completely dependent on when you’re travelling.
GET AN ACCIDENT REPORT
I once got side swept on a highway, had to chase down the person who did it, and convince her to wait for the police to come. The police came, had us switch insurance forms, and then said they didn’t need to do an accident report because the damage was “less than a thousand dollars”. I ended up footing the bill (which was way more than a thousand dollars) while the culprit got away with it with her insurance company. (I’m still a bit bitter about the whole thing and it happened over two years ago…) Accident reports matter in the eyes of insurance companies. Even though I made the 911 call, it didn’t matter. An officer’s word does however. Save yourself the time and money and get that incident report!
GOING OUT OF TOWN? TAKE A SPARE KEY
My boyfriend locked my key in my car on our recent trip to New Jersey. (That’s when my insurance phone app came in handy!) While we waited for the locksmith, I couldn’t help but think about my spare key, sitting in a bowl on my bookcase at home! If I had only brought it, it would have been no big deal. Next time, I’m going to bring a spare key: one to take with us everywhere and one to keep in our hotel room. Even better yet, if we each have a key, everything should be fine! What’s the likelihood of us both locking in the keys at the exact same time?
KEEP YOUR BACKSEAT’S TRUNK RELEASE UNLOCKED
This is a sad and unfortunate, but something to think about. If anyone ever locks you in your trunk, you need to have a plan. Research some ideas because each car is different! The reason why I’m suggesting this one is because I have a car that has a backseat that folds down. There’s a latch to unlock it, but it’s in the actual sitting part of the car and can’t be reached by the trunk. So, I just leave it unlocked because you never know what will happen! Make sure to research other car safety tips specifically for women in trouble too!
SAVE YOURSELF WHILE SKIDDING
There are plenty of suggestions to do while your car is skidding. One time, my car hit a patch of snow and I ran a light. Fortunately, no one was coming, but it scared me and scarred me for life! I hadn’t known what to do. I kept pushing on the brake, which just made things worse! If you are in this situation, don’t push down on your accelerator or your brake. Steer into the skid if your car begins to spin, but steer towards the direction you want to go in if it seems fine. It’s a “wait it out” sort of thing. And what feels like five minutes of skidding ends up only being five seconds!
This is just my two cents, but don’t panic and don’t let things get the worst of you. Goodness knows that I’ve let my emotions get the best of myself when something goes wrong! All it did was make things worse! If something happens to your car, call someone you trust, call your insurance company, or even call the police if you need to. If you can’t call someone, take a breath and reevaluate what you need to do. These days though, technology can help bunches so I doubt you’ll be in a pinch if something happens! Just don’t panic!
Cars are imperfect and so are people. Be prepared for the worst, but make sure not to worry about it until something actually happens!